It is understood St Patrick’s Hospital has been denied re-registration and has been given 28 days to resolve certain issues and raise its standards in line with HIQA’s requirements.
HIQA said they would not comment on individual cases, while the HSE told the paper it “awaits a decision from HIQA” on re-registration. Registration was due to be renewed on June 26 this year pending the decision by HIQA on the application.
Local politicians and staff have informed the paper that notice of refusal was received by St Patrick’s Community Hospital last Friday, July 24 - the same day Minister Leo Vardakar “dropped in” for a visit.
According to HIQA, if a hospital is not meeting their standards they can cancel registration - so it is no longer able to operate.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer last week about St Patrick’s, Minister Varadkar said, “There are no plans for closure.” But he did go on to say “HIQA as the regulator of course has the power to stop admission and that is something that I don’t have control over. They can do that.
“Certainly there aren’t any plans to close it until it can be replaced. People do live there and they can’t just be thrown out their home essentially. So the plan has to be in the medium term to replace it with a new unit and that is what we intend to do.”
The Health Minister made a quick private visit to St Patrick’s last Friday, he was met with around 30 locals, politicians and staff who told him the HIQA report was unfair and pleaded with him not to close the facility.
Continued on pages 3, 15, 16 & 17